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Bankers warn over ‘fractured’ EU financial regulation risk

The British Bankers’ Association is warning plans to remove ultimate responsibility for European financial regulation from the commissioner in charge of the single market could damage financial services in the UK.

Currently, the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs is Ollie Rehn. He is responsible for drafting all of the proposed legislation relating to financial services that comes from Europe. He also drafts wider economic rules and those relating to the Euro.

However, his brief is within the department in the Commission responsible for the single market, currently led by Michel Barnier.

It is has been reported that newly-elected European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker wants to create a stand-alone department within the Commission with sole responsibility for the Economic and Monetary Affairs brief.

In a blog on the BBA’s website, chairman Anthony Brown says the move could mean the single market for financial services begins to split.

He writes: “Sitting outside the eurozone and the banking union, one of our biggest fears is the fracturing of the single market in financial services, with different rules for those inside the inner core and those outside.

“You only need to look at [the directorate general for taxation] to see what happens when other departments start doing financial services. It developed a Financial Transactions Tax for just 11 countries – a clear splintering of the single market. So the danger is that if you take financial services out of the [department responsible for the single market], they will become focused more on the eurozone than the single market.”

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